Thursday, September 25, 2014 – 09:00 a.m.

So just how is business actually done at Redlands City Hall?

The question is now being asked following the publication of a story in Thursday’s Redlands Daily Facts.

The story titled “PAC forms opposing Neil Derry run for Redlands City Council” discusses the formation of a Political Action Committee, by 12 self-proclaimed concerned members of the community, who oppose Former County Supervisor Neil Derry’s election to the Redlands City Council..

The story contains the usual political attacks. The latest involves Derry’s settlement of charges related to the alleged improper reporting of a 2007 campaign contribution. A single contribution in the amount of $5,000.

Back in 2009, investigators for San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos conducted a full investigation of Derry and forwarded the case to the Attorney General for charges. The result was Ramos friend, Senior Assistant Attorney General Gary Schons, personally serving Derry with a criminal complaint charging him with one count of perjury, one count of filing a false document, and one count of campaign finance disclosure violation.

At the time, Superior Court Judge Michael Dest said the felony charges were excessive. Dest also refused to disqualify Derry from holding public office.

Court records show Derry elected to settle the case, pleading guilty to improperly reporting a campaign contribution, a misdeameanor. He also paid a civil penalty to the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) of approximately $15,000.

A year later, a Superior Court Judge terminated Derry’s probation, 24 months early, dismissed and expunged his conviction.

But as I was reading the aforementioned story, I ran across a quote, which I had to re-read a few times to fully grasp the fact that I actually did read it the way it was printed.

The treasurer of this self-professed group of concerned citizens, Tom Brickley, owner of San Bernardino-based Brickley Environmental, a regular beneficiary of local governmental contracts, actually interviewed for the story.

What was fascinating is Brickley’s reasoning for the new committee’s opposition to Derry.

Here’s the quote:

“He doesn’t work in a collaborative manner and disrupts things, brings things up,” he said. “I don’t think that’s needed in the city of Redlands.

“Brings things up”? What the hell does that mean?

I had to print the story out, just in case the newspaper mysteriously altered it, which does indeed happen with the newspapers serving San Bernardino County.

So now we have all kinds of questions for Redlands leaders.

  • Is a go along, get along, city council the Redlands way?
  • Just how many backroom deals get cut in Redlands?
  • Is the Redlands City Council all about telling the residents the truth?
  • Is the current council really about transparency?
  • Was the street paving fee increase to trash bills really legal?
  • Is the opposition to Derry all about preserving some nefarious relationship?
  • Why is electing a councilman who champions open government a bad thing?

It’ll definitely be interesting to see just who gives to this new committee, Redlands Residents Against Corruption, Opposing Neil Derry for City Council, 2014.

We’re sure their motives are 100 percent pure!

Maybe Derry should change his campaign signs to: Neil Derry for City Council “He brings things up!”